Chemotherapeutic agents simultaneously induce transcription factors p53 and NFkappaB. p53 induction can activate an apoptotic program, and resistance to chemotherapy correlates with the loss of a functional p53 pathway. By contrast, NFkappaB prevents apoptosis in response to chemotherapeutic agents. We have analyzed the p53 response in IKK1/2(-/-) MEFs, which lack detectable NFkappaB activity. Compared to WT fibroblasts, IKK1/2(-/-) fibroblasts showed increased cell death and p53 induction in response to the chemotherapeutic agent, doxorubicin. Reconstitution of IKK2, but not IKK1, increased Mdm2 levels and decreased doxorubicin-induced p53 stabilization and cell death. IKK2-mediated effects required its kinase function and were abrogated by coexpression of the dominant negative IkappaBalphaM, implying a role for NFkappaB in blocking chemotherapy-induced p53 and cell death.
Tergaonkar, V., Pando, M., Vafa, O., Wahl, G., & Verma, I. (2002). p53 stabilization is decreased upon NFκB activation. Cancer Cell, 1(5), 493–503. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1535-6108(02)00068-5